Saturday, October 1, 2011

Everest Challenge Race Report

Every year I come back to the race report, hoping that Mr. Steve Barnes will decide to make it aprx 30,000 feet of descending instead of climbing, but he never does.  At any rate, one again I headed out to Bishop and  Schatt's bakery.

This year my Everest prep was a bit hampered.  You see, even though I'm a vegan and have super powers as a result of this, at some point during my European escapade (I know, I cut my blogging short) I got really really sick.  I mean, disgustingly sick, in my lungs and head and throat.  It was miserable.  My "fun" vacay in London with the awesome Katy Curtis turned into less fun (although we still rocked the double-decker tour bus).  My lovely and open-ended trip to New Brunswick was slept away, some days I spent 15 hours in bed.  Needless to say, when I finally got back to LaLaLand and put my Powertap back on my bike I was sure that the settings had been messed with.  Oh well -- I could only go up from there.  HA!

Day 1 of Everest was different this year:  the course went backwards!  Unfortunately, that didn't mean a downhill finish.  I actually had a surprisingly good first day -- probably thanks for my awesome sunscreen application (in the dark no less!)



The start line was also exciting!


The only problem with this new ordering of things, was that the ride back to the car from the top was far, and I was riding back with some dude, and trying to prove how tough I was, so I pulled the whole way.  This was stupid, although I'd like to think it's great training for the 508 (coming up soon!) But really, even that thought was stupid.  I think (there I go again, with more thinking) that almost everyone else got a ride back.  BLah!

Day 2 was painful.  I was tired.  I actually fell asleep in the car before the start and was rushing to get my shit together.  Luckily I remembered all of the important things:  sunscreen, lipbalm, chamois cream and I got the order right.  Never. Mess. Up. That. Order.  Things end up where they don't belong.  I thought I was going to die at the start of the third climb.  I was so tired and my throat hurt and me feet hurt and basically I was a whiny pain in the ass.  Unfortunately, I was all alone, so the only person I could whine to was myself, and I quickly got annoyed.  I tried the age-old trick of riding as long as I dared with my eyes closed to try and get a rush of something.  I didn't work.  Could you imagine if I had crashed myself out, riding by myself, going about 7 miles an hour?  I'd would be extra pro.  MCJ came cruising past (he normally doesn't catch me) and said "having a bad day, huh girl?" No shit, Sherlock, I thought to my self, but then thought of saying "no, I'm just waiting for the opportune moment to attack."  However, by the time the witty thought came, MCJ was long gone with his skinny legs, on his skinny tires, and his climbers lungs.  The last 15 km or so (which I usually dread) were actually the best part of the race for me.  Somehow, going go slow in the beginning makes it way easier to actually try at the end.  This was a pleasant surprise, and I ended up catching people, once again coming in 5th in the Everest Challenge. 


The Everest CHallenge is an awesome race.  The staff and supporters and volunteers really do a great job of making the race "enjoyable" in that special relative way that most acts of masochism are "enjoyable."  You should do it, even if you aren't a climber (like me).  You learn all kinds of new things.  This year, for example, I learned how to do math when I finally realized that my rarely used non-power bike computer was still in euro-mode and set to kilometers.  An ethicist doing math in oxygen debt at altitude.  Needless to say, my numbers were WAY off.  But I did get to the finish line.  Yay!



Up next:  The 508!!

1 comment:

Ed said...

Awesome job Cara! I couldn't motivate myself to withstand the suffering this year. Maybe next year.